Back in 2016, J.J. Abrams pulled off the impossible when his production company, Bad Robot, announced and released the surprise sequel 10 Cloverfield Lane, directed by Dan Trachtenberg. The trailer seemingly dropped out of the sky that January, catching moviegoers off guard. How did one of the best-known filmmakers in the world manage to produce an action movie almost entirely in secret, without fans even catching wind that it was a Cloverfield sequel? It was a rare, thrilling coup, and ultimately paid off as the film went on to gross a solid $110 million worldwide.
But now, two years later, the anticipated next installment of the loosely connected franchise, God Particle, has seen its release date shifted again.
God Particle was originally supposed to hit theaters on February 24, 2017. Then, it was shifted to October 27, 2017. Then Paramount removed it from the schedule entirely before quietly bringing it back and moving the film to February 2, 2018. But no trailers or marketing materials of any kind were released, even though the trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane had been released at least two months before that film’s premiere. Now, Variety reports, God Particle has been shunted further down the schedule once more; its current release date is April 20, 2018.
Precious little is known about the movie even though, though it isn’t as shrouded in secrecy as 10 Cloverfield Lane was. It’s directed by Julius Onah and based on a screenplay by Oren Uziel and Doug Jung. The plot revolves around a group of astronauts who discover a dangerous energy source called the “God Particle”; the cast includes David Oyelowo,Elizabeth Debicki,Chris O’Dowd,Gugu Mbatha-Raw,Ziyi Zhang, and Daniel Brühl. No word yet on which actor was awarded with the precious title drop.
Considering Abrams trades in mystery—especially for these Cloverfield films—it’s difficult to speculate why the film has continually been pushed back. It could be result of any of the typical issues that plague films, like re-shoots or conflicting release dates with other Paramount films (like the sci-fi thriller Annihilation). And in any case, 10 Cloverfield Lane faced a long and arduous road to theaters. Paramount scooped up a Black List script in 2012 and refit it for the Cloverfield universe. Damien Chazelle was brought in to re-write the screenplay and direct it, but exited once he got the funds for his indie drama Whiplash. Then Trachtenberg was ushered in to get the movie—then codenamed Valencia—back on track. Two years later, the film was finally hitting theaters all over the world.
Behind-the-scenes details about God Particle are much slighter, so we’ll take the ever-changing release dates with a grain of salt. For now, anyway.
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Yohana DestaYohana Desta is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.